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A strained back pain can easily recur – what should we do?


Many people suffer from back pain.
Looking at a survey by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (National Life Basic Survey),
back pain has one of the highest complainant rates (percentage of people complaining of some
subjective symptoms). By the way, it ranks 1st place for men and 2nd place for women for pain.

There are many people who have experienced back pain that comes on suddenly, such as
when they lift a heavy object.
“Strained back” is a familiar name, but the condition is properly called “acute back pain”.

What causes a strained back?

The person may either have been trying to lift a heavy object working from the mid-waist ,or
twisting his waist suddenly, or slouching while washing his face on a cold morning.
It is well known that placing such a burden on the back can be a trigger for back pain, but what
is the condition of the back when the pain occurs in the first place?

The lower back is composed of five bones called “lumbar vertebrae” stacked together.
It is believed that there is a lot of damage to the “vertebral disc”, which acts like a cushion
between the bones, the “joint” of the moving part, or the muscles and ligaments that support the

However, imaging equipment such as X-ray, CT, and MRI can’t reveal the above problems, and
it is said that the cause of about 85% of back pain can’t be pinpointed.

Medical institutions may perform imaging tests to differentiate from other diseases such as
lumbar disc herniation, lumbar spinal stenosis, spinal fractures, or bone metastases from

Should we warm or cool our back?

Many people are concerned as to whether heat or cold should be applied when they are sitting
Even if you use a compress, you may be wondering which is better, because there are cold
compresses and hot compresses.
Immediately after developing acute back pain, the affected area is inflamed, so “cooling” is the
correct answer.
However, the inflammation will subside after a few days, so it is important to “warm” the back for
blood circulation.

In other words, use the cold compress when the pain is severe immediately after the onset, and
switch to a hot compress when the pain lessens.

Should you completely rest your back when in pain?

It has been said that when you get up with pain, rest. Therefore, you might rest anyway until the
pain goes away.
However, recently, it has been found that recovery is faster if you move sooner.
Resting for more than 3 days is counterproductive. Various studies have shown that it will be
worse than for those who move normally.
Therefore, apart from when the pain is severe immediately after the onset, if the pain subsides,
you can stretch, walk around your home, and move as much as you can.

One out of four relapses occur within one year

Speaking of acute back pain, many people may have the idea of acute back pain “repeating” .
In fact, once you get a strained back, a quarter of people who had a strained back have
experienced a relapse within a year.

In order to prevent recurrence, it is important to adapt in daily life, such as not taking an
excessive posture, avoiding sudden movements, and not holding the same posture for a long
time. But, considering the root cause, it’s very important to strengthen the muscles that support
the back and increase the flexibility of the muscles and ligaments around the waist.
Recently, research has shown that “muscle mass is related to back pain.”
It was found that the lower the trunk muscle mass, the worse the degree of disability due to
back pain.
Especially as you age, your bones and muscles tend to weaken, so you should purposefully
strengthen and stretch your abdominal and back muscles.

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